Ben Schwartz


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‘Fiddler on the Roof’ stays true to tradition

When playing a part as beloved, well-known and demanding as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” there are definite dos and don’ts. It is important not to subtract from the character that has given it universal appeal. Tevye is such a cultural icon that it is of paramount importance that he remain recognizable. On the other hand, a large part of what makes Tevye so beloved in the first place is that those who have played him (Topol and Zero Mostel) have imbued the character with so much of themselves. It is important that the part be distinct and reflect the actor, with neither the role nor the player overwhelming the other.

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Willis, Morgan typecast in 'Cop Out'

When one hears that Kevin Smith, the director of “Clerks,” “Mallrats” and “Dogma,” is coming out with another movie, it’s hard not to brim with excitement. Until you remember that this is also the man who directed “Clerks II” and “Jersey Girl.” That’s when it’s hard not to get nervous.

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D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre Co. poorly casts ‘Richard II’

In terms of both plot and performance, it’s the titular character (played by Michael Hayden) who causes all the problems in the Shakespeare Theater Company’s production of Shakespeare’s “Richard II.” To borrow a line from another of Shakespeare’s plays, Hayden is “all sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It is a credit to the other actors that they manage to salvage at least a little bit of the production. When Hayden was offstage or minimized, the play was watchable — otherwise, good luck.

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‘Taste’ brags local flavors

Upon entering the Triangle, a myriad of delectable aromas wafted toward the visitors. Every conceivable variety of delicious food was well represented within a few square blocks. Music also played a part in the festival, as there was a live band for every block.

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